Short report of the BRAINSCAPES Career afternoon

On February 22nd a BRAINSCAPES Career afternoon was organized by our Career and Training Committee. The aim of the event was to offer our PhD students and post-doctoral researchers the opportunity to gain practical insights into different career paths after completing a PhD or post-doctoral research period. As such we invited two consortium members and two external speakers to tell their career story. The interactive setup and lively discussions gave interesting insights which are hopefully of value for our new talents in shaping their own future career path.

During the afternoon, Dr. Walter Pirovano (Project manager of BRAINSCAPES), Prof. dr. Elly Hol (Professor at the UMCU and member of the BRAINSCAPES Board), Dr. Laila Ritsma (Group leader at Charles River in Leiden) and Mauro Muraro (Co-founder and CEO of Single Cell Discoveries) gave an overview of their career paths. Not only success stories but also bumps along the road and difficult decisions (and how these were finally taken) were shared . Also we zoomed in to the classical topic “industry or academia?” and tried to view this from different perspectives. All with the aim to give our young researchers practical tools to make their future decisions.

Probably the most important conclusion of the afternoon was that by talking to different people in our networks, and by gaining different advice around us, also difficult choices may become much easier to take. Meanwhile the good news is that the current market offers plenty of opportunities to young talents, and also that academia and industry meet each other more frequently than before since there are many common challenges to take. Finally it was very nice to observe that in all areas employers are more and more committed to give suitable trainings and support to employees throughout their career journey. With the aim to make (and keep) people happy!

Given the success of the Career afternoon, we plan to organize a new event with other stories later on the year!